Vol.XX No.VII Pg.8
September 1983

Stuff About Things

Robert F. Turner

The lady on TV is about to pour into her washer a prominently displayed brand of detergent when her neighbor stops her, showing disbelief and consternation. "Surely you wouldn't use that detergent," she cries.

"But this is my long-time favorite," the lady protests; "and I know you have used it for years."

"No longer," says the know-it-all neighbor. "Now I use NEW AND IMPROVED detergent (calling the brand name) for whiter whites, brighter colors, static free, lint reduced, all-temperatures, less suds-clogging washes." She pauses to get her breath, the first lady raises her hands in amazement, and the neighbor is ready to add, "just see how it took the raspberry jelly and chocolate ice cream out of my little girl's dress!"

Both women become ecstatic over the NEW AND IMPROVED product (those words are now shown printed on the corner of the box — flashing like a Saturday night), and I assume the old product is cast into the nether world with the dodo bird, soft music, and the Loxolophodon.

We have no way of knowing just how or to what extent the product is NEW, or IMPROVED; but we are willing to go along with progress. What "gets" us is the shabby treatment given the OLD and RELIABLE, that just last week was producing brilliantly white and flashing colors in the same TV wash room. With our own eyes we saw it tested against the latest, most popular powders and liquids, and came out with a no-contest win. Now, it leaves ugly smears and stains that look as if they had hardly been in water alone.

This is not Lipscomb, attempting to sweep back the tide of change. We are reminded of politicians who think we have forgotten earlier speeches; of preachers who praise NEW, IMPROVED church work and organization which they once recognized as unscriptural. We should be able to thank God for better methods of doing something scriptural without ridiculing earlier practices which served us well.

OLD or NEW are neither good nor bad because they are OLD or NEW. The modern yen for faddish disposables can do much harm in the church based on eternal principles of divine truth.